If you’re not familiar with the book “The Four Agreements” the concept of being impeccable with your word is probably new to you. Here’s how don Miguel Ruiz explains this agreement in his book:
“Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.”
I first noticed the link between this agreement and teaching yoga when we started reviewing language during my 200-hr certification. My teacher gave us very clear instructions: When you’re directing people into a pose always start with a moving verb. Honor the action first and foremost.
Here are a couple examples:
Reach through your fingertips
Lift your crown
Draw your navel in toward your spine
Why? She explained that clear present tense action verbs cut through the clutter, and the brain is able to process the desired movement more easily.
Karen Fabian’s MindBodyGreen article does a great job of breaking down why this word choice makes a difference: “The constant stream of information we’re exposed to through radio, television and internet, and the challenges of our jobs and relationships can leave people exhausted and immune to hearing.”
This got me thinking. What if we as yoga students (including teachers who are always students) try to approach our personal practice and experiences in class as opportunities to be impeccable with our word.
Here are three examples of ways I could be more impeccable with my word when I take yoga classes. Would love to hear from you in the comments section with yours!
1. I would stop saying I have a “bad shoulder” when I’m class with teachers who are unfamiliar with my injury. It’s a good shoulder, just one that needs some extra attention for the time being.
2. I would compliment my current teachers more often. Their classes are so phenomenal yet I often hear them selling themselves short with “I wasn’t my best today” or “Was that alright?” type language.
3. I would ask more questions when I’m confused about a particular pose and stop assuming that everyone else gets it. Odds are there’s at least a few other people who are a little lost too.
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About the Author
This article was brought to you by Kate Northrup, a Freedom Seeker, change-maker and bright light in the wellness community. Kate is committed that all of our Bella Beauties have the life that lives deep in their hearts. So whether it is financial freedom, a foxy body or even the peace that comes with clarity, Kate is here to guide you through your own life journey and can't wait to hear from all of you about how your process is going. To connect with Kate Northrup further or to view her full Bella Life profile, here.